Quitting isn’t always for losers, it is usually the sign of a weary or worldly soldier of Christ. There is a definite difference between quitting and resting. One of the first things that comes to my mind when I think of this topic is a note that someone wrote to a pastor friend in the yearbook when he graduated with his Master’s degree. The last line of the note said, “Remember, sometimes you must rest a while, but just don’t quit.” Even years later I remember that one line. God has used it to help me, and I pray He will also use it to help you.
Let’s take a look at some Bible quitters:
- Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world. (2 Timothy 4:10)
- John Mark left his work at some point in his ministry and the apostle Paul was so frustrated that he was not willing to take him along with him again in Acts 15.
- All of the disciples forsook Christ and fled when Christ was arrested. (Mark 14:50)
But before we judge too harshly, let’s admit that the thought has probably crossed our mind once or twice, or really maybe on some days once or twice an hour.
Quitting for the wrong reasons usually involves one or more of the following:
- Not allowing God’s Word to be the greatest influence in your life.
- Forsaking godly counsel.
- Walking away from a commitment or vow you made to the Lord.
- Listening to and believing lies Satan whispers to you about God and His work.
- A love for the things of the world, rather than heavenly things.
- Lust and covetousness.
- Disregarding the Holy Spirit’s convictions and God’s warning signs keeping you from quitting.
- An attitude of ungratefulness.
- Selfish motives.
- Following men rather than God.
- Accepting praise that belongs to God alone.
- Looking at people instead of the Heavenly Father.
- Unforgiveness and bitterness.
- Blocking your ears and heart from hearing Christ-centered preaching.
- Lowering your Biblical standards and substituting them with worldly practices.
- Replacing godly friends with friends that have lower standards and values.
- Discontentment with your current ministry and comparison with other ministries.
- Stiffening your neck and being disobedient.
Quitting does not usually happen over night without some warning signs. Almost all of us have seen someone slowly slip away. People, even those in ministry, do not normally jump off ship and run away to the Bahamas with a hot babe that isn’t their spouse in a day.
Satan and the flesh can work against you if you let it and before you know it you can be just a statistic or a vessel set on the shelf by God with no earthly use because you have laid down your sword and abandon the call of God on your life and quit.
The responsibility and accountability are up to us. We must see these warning signs creeping up in our lives and not allow the temptation to quit on God, our family, and our ministry become thoughts we dwell on.
So, if you’re weary and you’re tired and you realize that you just feel so overwhelmed because your ministry is not doing what you think it should when you think it should, then REST!
Resting for the right reasons usually involves:
- A temporary time of recharge.
- The Holy Spirit’s call and moving.
- Changes (small or large) to restore the relationships in your family.
- More time to be able to seek God’s perfect will for your life.
- Bible reading and searching for God’s answers.
- More prayer.
- Godly counsel and advice from trusted friends and mentors.
- Serving God without large amounts of responsibility.
- Quality time with your family.
- Listening to Christ-centered preaching and music.
- Purposeful planning for the future including ministry plans and other family-oriented plans.
- Unplugging from ministerial responsibility and pursuing hobbies and other things you enjoy.
- Reconnecting with other ministry friends and sharpening one another through good encouraging communication. (Call or visit them!)
God did all of His work in the work of Creation and guess what!? HE RESTED!! There is no shame in taking a break or even a nap! While we know that some people may need a longer period of rest than others, we should be understanding and encouraging to them during that time.
Go to God for your rest, it is one of the many benefits to being a Christian.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Rest will do your body, soul, and spirit good! Just do it! It’s better than the alternative!
P.S. Later in scripture John Mark was counted worthy again by call for the work of the ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11) So, even if you have quit, you may not be able to be restored to the position you once had, but God can still use your life!